Footprints in the sand: a persistent spatial impression of fishing in a mobile groundfish assemblage

Francisco de Castro*, Samuel Shephard, Sarah B. M. Kraak, David G. Reid, Keith D. Farnsworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fishing is well known to curtail the size distribution of fish populations. This paper reports the discovery of small-scale spatial patterns in length appearing in several exploited species of Celtic Sea demersal 'groundfish'. These patterns match well with spatial distributions of fishing activity, estimated from vessel monitoring records taken over a period of 6 years, suggesting that this 'mobile' fish community retains a persistent impression of local-scale fishing pressure. An individual random-walk model of fish movement best matched these exploitation 'footprints' with individual movement rates set to <35 km per year. We propose that Celtic Sea groundfish may have surprisingly low movement rates for much of the year, such that fishing impact is spatially heterogeneous and related to local fishing intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1249
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Biology
Volume162
Issue number6
Early online date28 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Keywords

  • MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
  • COD GADUS-MORHUA
  • ATLANTIC COD
  • NORTH-SEA
  • TAGGING EXPERIMENTS
  • MOVEMENTS
  • POPULATION
  • MANAGEMENT
  • CATCHABILITY
  • MIGRATION

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